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Best microscopes for kids 3-5 years old

Best Microscopes for Kids

Do you ever wonder how does an ant or a mosquito or a piece of hair look like up close, zoomed in 100 times? For us adults, it’s very easy to find out. Google is here, right?

For kids it is super fascinating to discover the unseen view by the naked eye of the typical things they see around. Looking through a microscope gives them an opportunity to discover detailed views of tiny things. It’s like going into a whole new different world without a time travel machine or a space rocket. All it takes is the use of the best microscopes for kids.

Sure, there are millions of images in the internet about just anything but actually looking through a microscope and experiencing how an object looks at a finer detail, with you having the control what to look at is exhilarating and offers totally different learning experience compared to just looking at those 2D microscope pictures or micrographs.

That’s exactly the reason why people are still fond of watching live hockey games and willing to pay for the pricey tickets even if watching the same hockey game in the TV does not cost anything.

It’s the thrill & fun of actually experiencing it makes the difference.

For some professionals, like the biologist or metallurgist, a microscope is one of the basic tools they use at work. A biologist looks through a microscope to explore living things, like blood cells or protozoa in the smallest of details. A metallurgist, like me, looks through a microscope to study non-living things, like to reveal the micro-structure of metals or to investigate the cause of failure in metals or electronics.

What is a microscope?

A microscope is defined as an optical instrument used for viewing very small objects as small as 0.2 microns. It uses lenses and visible light source to magnify the object several hundred times in order to be visible through the naked eye. Microscope is also known as optical microscope or light microscope.

1 micron
Source: www.aquascience.net

To have an idea how big is a micron, the image above provides a visual comparison: a human hair is 75 microns diameter, a household dust is 4 microns, a tiny cat dander is 1 micron. A microscope can actually magnify less than a quarter of that size! That’s how powerful a microscope is depending on the lens being used.

Microscope Basic Parts & Functions

Microscope Parts & Functions
Source: https://kidtastictoys.com
  • Eyepieces – located at the top of the microscope that is used to look through the specimens
  • Objective Lens – made up of either glass or plastic or other transparent material with curved sides for concentrating light rays. They are responsible in magnifying a specimen or a small object
  • Focus Knob – a rotator where magnification is adjusted by moving the objective lens closer or farther away from the specimen
  • Stage – a flat platform where specimen is placed
  • Base – the bottom of the microscope that enables it to stand in a stable position
  • Joint – connects the eyepiece to the base for better setting of viewing angle

What does microscope do to kids learning?

The microscopes help develop kids’ motor skills and hand-eye coordination while becoming familiar with a basic science tool.

The use of a microscope at an early age, as part of a kid’s play, satisfies kids’ curiosity about the world around them by allowing them to explore a whole new fascinating world and to find answers about just anything that intrigue them. The process of exploring and discovering the answers to their questions stimulates the love for science for your budding scientists.

Kids are inquisitive in nature. Being able to explain the “why’s” and “how’s” to their own questions through experimentation and discovery during play boosts their confidence big time.

Our 9-year old son, Jem, loves asking questions, not for the purpose of getting an answer, but for him to have an opportunity to explain the answer. It’s easy for me because I just have to say “I don’t know, can you tell me?” instead of explaining it myself. At times when I feel like explaining, I explain as much as I can and he just adds what he knows anyway! This is why I’m not surprise to learn from his teachers at school that he is confident in presenting and explaining things in front of their class.

What to look for when buying a microscope for younger kids

For kids ages 3-5 years old, generally you would want the microscope:

  • To be durable
  • Simple to use
  • Bright and colorful design
  • Have accessories included
  • Encourage learning about science in an educational & fun way

Microscopes come in a wide variety of designs and complexity. It is important to find the best microscope that suits your kid’s age and maturity level. Advanced microscope will just make younger kids uninterested. Too basic ones will just make older kids get bored easily.

I have listed below the best microscopes suitable for younger kids 3-5 years of age. They are more robust, more basic (no small tools and accessories), very easy to use, appealing to the eye (colorful) and has the capability to interact with them (talks).

GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope

GeoSafari Talking Microscope Best Microscopes for Kids

GeoSafari Jr Talking Microscope is a great way to introduce microscope to young kids and let them explore familiar things around them, like plants, animals and household items. It offers a total of 60 four-color photo-quality images packed in 20 slides. Kids can choose from its 2 Modes: Fact Mode and Quiz Mode. In Fact Mode, the voice of Bindi Irwin explains about interesting facts about the slide currently mounted on the microscope. In the Quiz Mode quiz questions are charged to test your kids’ their scientific knowledge about what they just learned. This promotes interaction and engagement to retain the new facts they just discovered.

Pros

  • Colorful and has sturdy construction, no small components to loose
  • No need to close one eye with the 2 comfortable eyepieces
  • Has built-in storage for the slides, makes clean up easy and less chance of loosing the slides
  • Supports 4 languages
  • Battery-operated, no electrical wires to worry about (uses 3 AAA)

Cons

  • It’s not capable of really magnifying an object as it only acts as a viewer to images captured from real microscopes with 5x Magnification.
  • Putting in the slides can be tricky
  • Has common issue on the storage compartment not latching up properly.

Kidzlane Microscope Science Toy

Kidzlane Best Microscopes for Kids

Kidzlane Microscope Science Toy includes microscope, 1 Petri dish, tweezers, scalpel, fake spider, lizard specimens, guide and activity book. This microscope enables the kids to see everyday objects around them up close magnified up to 8x, with a built-in flashlight to provide better illumination on the object. They can use the pretend spider & lizard to get started but can also use just anything that fancy their interest as their specimen.

Pros

  • Can actually able to magnify specimen to 8x magnification with a built in flashlight
  • Includes guide & activity book to help stimulate activities
  • Comes with easy-to-turn focus knob and soft-frame eye cups
  • Colorful and kid-friendly design
  • Made with durable material and has solid built, no choking hazard parts
  • Battery-operated, no electrical wires to worry about (uses 3 AAA)
  • Comes with Customer Satisfaction no-questions-asked Money Back Guarantee by Kidzlane

Cons

  • Flashlight is not bright enough
  • Best suited for ages 3-4 years old, very basic for ages 5-6 years old
  • Adult interaction is required to read the guide and activity book for toddlers

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope Stem Toy

GeoSafari My First Microscope Best Microscopes for Kids

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope Stem Toy from educational insights is designed for toddler and preschoolers. It is an introductory microscope but is fully functional which offers a range of magnification from 2.5x to 8x that allows a real hands-on experience for toddlers and preschoolers to learn the concept of magnification for the first time. By turning the focusing knob away or towards them, the binoculars with 30 mm glass lenses move up or down enabling them to see a specimen in closer detail.

Pros

  • Has a range of magnification – 2.5x to 8x
  • Comes with two extra-large eyepieces
  • Easy to turn, large focusing knob
  • Comes with bright LED light Non-skid feet and sample tray
  • Made with durable material and has sturdy built, no choking hazard parts
  • Colorful and kid-friendly design
  • Battery-operated, no electrical wires to worry about (uses 3 AAA)
  • Educational insights offer a 365 day risk-free guarantee on every purchase

Cons

  • Best suited for ages 3-4years old, very basic for ages 5-6years old
  • Common complains about having very low magnification, advertised 8x magnification is actually just 2x magnification. Highest magnification works just like a magnifying glass
  • Very light and easily knocks down
  • Reported issues with the LED light –either not shutting down or not turning on

Kidtastic Microscope Science Kit

Kidtastic Best Microscopes for Kids

Kidtastic Microscope is a basic microscope designed for kids ages 3 – 6 years old. It comes with 12 slides containing pictures of insects, dinosaurs, forest, etc that can be magnified to 8x magnification. Kids can also examine other small specimens they see around the house under this microscope.

Pros

  • Has 8x magnification
  • Equipped with two extra-large eyepieces
  • Has easy to turn, large knobs
  • Comes with LED light for better illumination
  • Can be used using provided slides and actual specimens they want
  • Has tough built, made up of plastic material
  • Has bright & colorful design
  • Battery-operated, no electrical wires to worry about (uses 2 AA)
  • Kidtastic offers 100% Money Back Guarantee

Cons

  • Issues with the LED light not turning on
  • Power on/off button is located underneath the base
  • No built-in tray for slides

GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope is the most advertised microscope toys for toddlers and preschoolers because it is the only microscope in the market that “talks”. However the three other microscopes can actually able to magnify the specimen, a most basic feature of a microscope, which the GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope missed.

I think Kidtastic Microscope Science Kit is the best microscope for kids among the four microscopes because it has the capability to actually magnify specimen using the provided slides and actual small objects seen around the house.

Which microscope do you prefer? Let me know below. 🙂

Posted in Science Kits

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